The Gangfighters Network is an organization designed to bridge the gap between academia and the criminal justice professions. For more information, visit and The focus is on gangs, initially adult gangs as it appears they have been ignored or absorbed into the mainstream society. There's a special focus on gang members in the military.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alleged shooter also a Fort Bliss soldier

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times
Posted: 09/01/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- A Fort Bliss soldier was arrested Monday, accused of shooting another soldier during a gang fight last weekend in the Cincinnati Avenue Entertainment District.

Pvt. Antonio Saunders, 23, surrendered to Military Police and allegedly admitted to firing gunshots during a street fight at a traffic light as hundreds of patrons were leaving clubs and bars early Sunday in the popular nightlife area, El Paso police said.

Saunders was charged with two counts of attempted murder. He is accused of wounding Spc. Frank Calderon, 22, and also firing toward Kay Yem, 18, who was not hit. Police said Yem is also a soldier at Fort Bliss.

Fort Bliss spokeswoman Jean Offutt said Calderon, who was shot twice, remained in critical condition on Monday at University Medical Center of El Paso.

Offutt said Calderon is with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division rear detachment. Saunders is with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. Information on Yem was not immediately available.

Police and witnesses said a fight between gangs began inside the 32 Degrees nightclub. After the combatants were ejected from the club, a fight continued in the parking lot before they drove away.

Minutes later, two groups began fighting again when their vehicles pulled up next to each other at a stop light at the North Mesa and Baltimore intersection. Calderon and Yem were fighting with at least two men when Calderon was shot.

The police Drive-by Shooting Response Team

continues to investigate the incident and details about the soldiers' gang ties, if any, were not released.

Soldiers involved in gang activity is not new. The FBI and El Paso police have been tracking members of street gangs affiliated with the rapidly growing Army post since at least 2004, according to a National Gang Intelligence Center report released two years.

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